Saturday, October 3, 2015


No killing frost yet, but today it was raw and cold.  I doubt that it reached 50 F.  I sewed.  It was too cold to bike.  Yesterday, though it wasn't much warmer, S. and I practiced using the Granny gear.  We went up a steep hill as far as we could get.  We were warm by the time we were at the top.  Because we didn't want to have to climb back up the other side of this hill, we turned around and rode back down from whence we had climbed.  Warm going up, chilly going down, though the wind was behind us. Tomorrow promises mid 50s but not until noon.  Good.  Time for me to sew in the morning.

Mom wants a quilt for her twin bed.  I pondered patterns this morning.  I considered a disappearing nine patch, an arrowhead patch, a double Irish Chain, a log cabin.  None of them particularly appealed to me. 

I looked through some books.  I found a lovely quilt.(The watermark is mine)
 in this book.
I considered piecing a medallion for the center square but found an orphan square from a celtic block quilt I made almost fifteen years ago.

I plan to follow the design but might not do the ribbon border.  It looks a bit tedious, though I like the look.  There is no pattern in the book.  I am sorting it out as I go along. 

Saturday, September 26, 2015


I have a book QUILTS IN THE SUN.  The cover photo caught my eye.  I decided to use up some stash, though I did have to purchase some solid fabric. It was easy to piece so it went together quickly.   The quilting is a simple, unimaginative, yet elegant grid that affords me the opportunity to use my ruler over and over again.
If the piecing were perfect, I could set the channel lock and zip across the quilt quickly.  Alas, I am not the perfect piecer.  The throat on my Long Arm is not quite long enough to stitch the vertical seams completely corner to corner.  Oh yes, I toyed with the idea of upgrading to a 24.  I reigned in THAT wild horse yesterday on my way to work.  I would rather cut my hours and have more time so I am really,  really trying hard to practice spending less.  Indeed, today I cashed in my credit card reward points for a pair of bicycling tights.  Cooler weather is coming.  Shucks, it's already here.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Nolting CLX20 Belt

My Nolting whines at just the right pitch to hurt my ears.  I tried slowing the speed but then my stitches are too long.  I tried increasing the speed but then the machine gets away from me.  I wondered if it was a belt noise, and thinking I might be able to adjust the belt, I took the machine apart at the back.

The first thing to do is remove the set screws on the handwheel.  There are two and they are set at a right angle to each other.   Trust me, there is a screw in there.  It is not necessary to remove the screw completely, though I did.  That handwheel was STUCK on the shaft and I wasn't sure if the screws had been released completely.  Once I had them in my hand I knew that they weren't binding the handwheel.  Something else was.
I managed to wiggle the handwheel a bit but it wouldn't come off easily.  Every time I would turn it, the shft would turn, DUH.  So I got the bright idea to stabilize the front handwheel with a clamp.
I managed to work the handwheel off of the shaft after much twisting and a generous application of Triflow. 

You can see where the set screw was positioned by the mark it left on the shaft. 
I then removed the hex screws from the back cover
and exposed the belt.

It wasn't too tight and there was no way that I could see to loosen it easily.  I moved the belt off of that pulley and that loosened it but it made no difference with the noise so I put it back where I found it. 

I don't know why it whines, but I will have to live with it.  There is noting wrong with the machine and I certainly can much in some ear plugs.  Maybe as time goes on I will get more skilled and can run the machine faster and the noise will change and be less bothersome.

I did happen to hear the same noise on one of Ann Olsen's videos.  So I guess it's the nature of the beast.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015


The Nolting came with a stand alone bobbin winder.  It is a simple aparatus: a thread stand, tension discs, a shaft for the bobbin and a motor.  To engage the winder, the motor tips down, toward the direction of the arrow.  There is an on/off switch but the motor stops when the bobbin is fully wound.  If you lift the motor up without turning off the switch, the motor will run again.  AMHIK.

 The winder did a terrible job of winding evenly.  I had to make some adjustments after trying the manual approach without success (i.e. using my finger to guide the thread).

 If you look closely at the picture below, you can see the indentation  in the white part of the stand within the circle.  It is hard to see, but there is also an indentation on the black, metal part of the tension discs.  The arrow points toward it.  There is a nipple just under that indentation and it is, likely, design to sit into that indentation on the white base.  When it sits in there, the bobbin winds off balance to the left.  I loosened the Phillips head screw and stuck a washer between the white base and the black metal part of the tension discs.  This allowed me to shift the tension discs so that the bobbin would wind more evenly.

It isn't perfect, but it is better.   Oh, yeah, I also tightened the thumb screw so that there was appropriate tension on the discs.  This provided me with a much tighter, consistently wound bobbin.
I am getting decent results with these bobbins.  I sure would love to have them more evenly wound.  Relatively speaking, though, this is pretty good.

Here are some photos of the finished quilt.  I don't really have a decent place to show off large quilts.  Our bed is a hybrid queen size bed.  The dogs have an extension at the foot and there is a little pace for Frannie on one side.

I rather like how the back looks.  Actually, I am rather pleased with the overall results, front and back.  Even the mistakes are kind of interesting.

I took it over to the  Quilt Zoo today for show and tell.  I made it just before they were to start the Block of the Month class.  Nina and I found some bad stitches on the back.  When I got home I ripped them out and fixed them using the 31-15.

I like that machine.  It has a large throat and a big table.  The action is not so great.  I think the belt is too tight.  The balance wheel wants to go backwards when I stop treadling.  Gotta fix that.  I think this may be the machine for attaching bindings.  It has so much room.

Oh, and in case you are wondering, I did ride my bike again today.  Personal best: 22 miles.  We went as a foursome.  I struggled up one hill while they zipped past me.  Otherwise, I managed to keep up; else, they were being kind. 

Saturday, August 22, 2015


I looked at that border and decided that I would just play around with the machine.  No stitch regulation, this is all free motion and forgiveness. 

I think the high from the bicycle ride carried me a long.  I sure had fun.